When Empowering Words Become a Double-Edged Sword

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When I was growing up, I often heard the phrase “you can be anything you want to be!” While I appreciated the encouraging empowerment, I realize now that the phrase needed some serious tweaking in order to even remotely be realistic later on in life.

Instead of “You can be anything you want to be!,” it should've been more like “You can be anything but not everything.” 

That key add-on “but not everything” is essential for a realistic mindset and one that I'm still trying to get past everyday. I've juggled being a business owner, a teacher, a student, a marketing professional, an author, a board member, a volunteer, and the list goes on. Sound familiar? When we bog ourselves down and try to be too many things to too many people, we just set ourselves up for an extreme case of burnout. We become exhausted and feel like worthless failures.

Instead of asking the question, “How many things can I accomplish?,” instead ask “What is the most important thing to me at this point in time?” And go from there. It might be focusing on your career, going to grad school, becoming a parent, learning a new hobby or skill or building a new business. Those are all wonderful life enhancements but when they're all folded together is makes for one crazy chaotic world. Eliminate the excess and do what is most important at this point in time.


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